But for decades we thought it meant something else. As mistakes go, it was harmless. We'll explain in a bit, but first...
To our friends and fellow animal lovers, thanks and blessings for your constant support...
Just to let y'all know that Mama Dog's passing was about as sweet as a goodbye gets. It was actually beautiful. We were surrounded by people who care very much for us and she seemed present and aware of all the love.
First, Gail, our friend at the vet, was kind enough to offer MD some of TL's chiller chicken. (You've seen his Lhasa Apso divine face on previous posts.) Our girl loved her food and her appetite never flagged no matter how bad her old body was feeling. (Put it this way: Mama Dog's gourmet Make a Wish was granted over the last two weeks.)
And Dr. K and Tara, who've guided more Butler pets across than we like to count in the last two years, were right there doing the heavy lifting - literally and metaphorically. (This Mama's back needs a light touch after carrying our 75 lb beauty up and down the steps of late.)
Too, she was on a stretcher because exactly two hours before our appointment, she lost all mobility in her back legs. It was all this pet Mom could do to carry her from house to car.
Honestly, the timing of ALL of this was perfect. We just seemed to get angelic guidance about how to do it for her.
Per our request, our pets get a party shot before the final one. We might be sober, but it seems to bridge the gap between pain consciousness and that eternal peace deal they're about to see.
Then we lay down right beside her, right on the floor and held her beautiful face and just told her how wonderful she was. Her last breaths were not labored, and her famous smile happened right at the end.
We know all goodbyes can't be this perfect: She lived a long life and we had plenty of notice.
Maybe having so many pet losses in the last few years has helped with the hows and the whens. Look. We're sure that sudden illness could arise again as it did with little Leon last year - the kind that takes them too soon. In those cases, tears may sting more bitterly. But we pray for the grace of composure and acceptance whenever it comes.
But this time? If you'd ever told us that Rainbow Bridge could be decked out in beautiful banners and happy lights, our eyeballs might've rolled pretty far back, but it happened. It really did.
Just a thought: Wherever our strength came from this time - that's You, Big Guy - we think our demeanor helped her through it. An absence of over-grieving is not the absence of love. It may be just the opposite.
To those who've gracefully endured and practiced what this post is about - thanks for letting us borrow a cup of your vibes. If only we'd known years before.
Thanks mostly for helping us remember that we've still got a bunch - albeit a smaller one - at home who need us in the right here and now, which is where they live.
Now if you'll kindly excuse us, we've got some comedy to write.
Oh yeah.. The Hoka-hey!
That's a paraphrased way to say, "Today is a good day to die."
We're glad we got it wrong for so long. Some misunderstandings are perfect the way they are.